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The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding$
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Philip Alston and Sarah Knuckey

Print publication date: 2016

Print ISBN-13: 9780190239480

Published to Oxford Scholarship Online: January 2016

DOI: 10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.001.0001

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The Gender Politics of Fact-Finding in the Context of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda

The Gender Politics of Fact-Finding in the Context of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda

Chapter:
(p.89) 5. The Gender Politics of Fact-Finding in the Context of the Women, Peace, and Security Agenda
Source:
The Transformation of Human Rights Fact-Finding
Author(s):

Fionnuala Ní Aoláin

Publisher:
Oxford University Press
DOI:10.1093/acprof:oso/9780190239480.003.0005

This chapter examines the gendered politics of fact-finding, including the production and identification of facts, that then enable political and legal positioning on violence against women in general, and sexual violence in particular. The conclusions have particular relevance in the context of the Protocol on the Documentation and Investigation of Sexual Violence in Conflict, which reflects a technocratic response. The analysis is advanced in the context of a broader theoretical critique that addresses intimate violence, and concern over the increased emphasis on documenting certain kinds of physical (primarily sexual) harms over other harms (specifically socio-economic, discrimination and autonomy harms). The chapter affirms the ascendency of sexual violence (notably rape) discourses in international human rights and humanitarian law and the role served by documentation of these ascendant harms, and probes the ways in which data collection about penetrative sexual harms serves multiple, and possibly nefarious, other interests.

Keywords:   gender, harms to women, gender politics, methodologies of fact-finding, WPS agenda

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